TUKWILA — Fred Meyer grocery warehouse workers represented by Teamsters Local 117 have overwhelmingly ratified a 3-year contract that provides health care protections, family wages, and retirement security for 362 workers and their families. The contract vote took place over the weekend. Over 95% of the members casting ballots voted to approve the proposed settlement.
“This result demonstrates that with a united membership, strong community partnerships, and unconditional support from other Teamsters Locals and our International Union, we can successfully achieve strong contracts for our members,” said Tracey A Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.
The high out-of-pocket cost of health care for the warehouse workers at Fred Meyer as compared with other workers in the industry was the central issue during bargaining.
“Teamsters at Fred Meyer had been paying unreasonably high out-of-pocket expenses for their health care. This contract reduces those costs significantly and with the negotiated wage increases brings our Fred Meyer members up to the standards of other workers in the industry,” Thompson said.
Before the ratification vote this weekend, Teamsters at Fred Meyer had been working without a contract for nearly nine weeks. The workers participated in several consumer action activities locally to raise community awareness about their concerns. Local 117’s Union partners also engaged in handbilling actions at Kroger retail locations in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska.
“I want to thank our Teamster Brothers and Sisters and our many labor and community partners for their incredible support. In the end, it was the strength and solidarity of the Fred Meyer workers that really mattered. These workers were willing to risk their livelihoods to achieve a fair contract that provided meaningful healthcare coverage for their families, and they have succeeded in accomplishing that goal,” Thompson said.